Make It Count

By Robert Lake
[email protected]

There’s plenty to get riled up about in this years’ presidential election, and it’s gearing up to be a nail-biter. Of truckers polled on, 61 percent of you say you plan to vote for George W. Bush, and 23 percent say you will vote for Sen. John Kerry. The remaining 6 percent of you say you’ll vote for Ralph Nader. So which candidate will do the most for the trucking industry?

One area near and dear to truckers’ hearts is fuel prices. President Bush says he plans to see increased domestic oil and gas production along with support to drill for oil in Alaska’s Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. Bush also plans to give billions of dollars in tax incentives for hybrid and fuel-cell vehicles.

Kerry, if elected, says he plans to rely on conservation and increased efficiency measures to cut consumption. He wants to put in $10 billion in incentives to encourage production and reward purchasers of fuel-efficient vehicles. He’s adamantly opposed to Arctic drilling and wants to stop pumping oil into the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserves while prices remain high.

Will either platform actually cause fuel prices to fall? There’s no clear answer there – especially with a war raging in oil-rich countries – but their philosophies are significantly different. It’s important is to know your candidate’s view on issues that will directly affect you and your trucking business.

Is it too late?
What if you haven’t registered yet to vote or know you’ll be on the road come Nov. 2? Our editors have prepared a state-by-state chart so you can find out exactly what your state requires for absentee voter registration (pages 18-19). In most cases, it’s not too late, and in many cases you can even register online. No matter what the hassle or effort, it’s important to cast your vote.

You matter
Your vote can really make the difference in close elections. Abraham Lincoln once said, “The ballot is stronger than the bullet.” History shows that small margins of voters can influence an election. John F. Kennedy’s margin of victory over Richard Nixon in the 1960 presidential race was less than one vote per precinct.

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Join me on Nov. 2 when I stop by the polls to cast my vote for the next president of the United States of America. And take a moment to give thanks that we live in a country where we can freely elected our government officials. Forget about the movie stars and musicians promoting Rock the Vote. I say, let’s “Truck the Vote.”

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